The eCommerce industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. In 2019, it was valued at a whopping USD$9.09 trillion and experts estimate it will continue to grow at a faster rate each year.
It makes a lot of sense for small and medium-sized retail businesses to make the shift to online sales. Compared to traditional brick and motor stores, eCommerce has lower costs, greater accessibility, and is easier to use.
However, in order to reap the full benefits of operating online, you need to choose the best eCommerce platform to suit your business needs. It may sound like a daunting decision, but it’s much easier than it sounds when you know what to look for. Start by assessing these 5 factors:
1. Simple Setup
One of the first qualities that you should look for in an ecommerce platform is a simple and easy setup. You want this step to be as quick and effortless as possible so you can start selling your products. With the level of technology available, there’s no reason to complicate the process of getting your online store up and running, even if you don’t have any experience.
Today, many platforms offer a range of templates you can choose from to customize the look and feel of your online store. Make sure to choose a platform that allows you to create a visual feel aligned with your brand identity and values.
2. User-Friendly and Easy to Navigate
Once you’ve found a platform that’s easy for you to operate, you also want to make sure it’s easy for your customers to operate. If you’ve purchased a few products online yourself, you’ll probably know the difference between user-friendly checkouts that allow you to complete your purchase in a few simple clicks, and those that have you running around in circles trying to figure out what to do.
With the amount of competition in the online market, there’s no reason for customers to stay on website with a frustrating purchase process. If your software isn’t easy to use, they’re likely to click off your site and onto a competitor’s.
Online shoppers are looking for a smooth and seamless shopping experience that is quick and simple. Everything should lead to the next step as naturally as possible.
3. Safety and Security
You need to be a 100% confident that the eCommerce platform you choose provides a high level of safety and security, both for yourself and your customers. You’ll be collecting personal information like names, addresses, birthdates, and credit card details which need to be stored securely.
If your eCommerce platform has a security breach and your customer’s data is compromised, you’ll lose your customers’ trust and business very quickly. An easy way to prevent this is to understand best practice in eCommerce security and choose a platform with the required certifications.
An eCommerce platform that is SEO-friendly will surely receive more traffic, making it easier for you to sell your products. When online customers search for keywords related to your business and the products you sell, they should be able to find your business more easily with an SEO-friendly platform.
The majority of online shopping is conducted on mobile devices, not desktops, so it’s crucial for your ecommerce platform to be mobile-friendly. If customers have to deal with a glitchy platform that takes too long to load on mobile devices, or doesn’t show the full page, they’re not likely to complete the purchase, no matter how good your products are.
Your eCommerce platform must also allow customers to easily access to your main website. This allows shoppers to form a connection with your brand, and better inform their purchase decision.